Pathogenesis and prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis.

Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, Hull York Medical School, University of York, Heslington, York, UK.
Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 4.87). 03/2011; 24(3):183-9. DOI: 10.1097/QCO.0b013e328345d5b5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) remains the most common serious acquired gastrointestinal disorder affecting preterm infants. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of the pathogenesis of this multifactorial condition and consider the implications for practice and research.
NEC is an important cause of mortality and serious morbidity in preterm infants. The risk is inversely proportional to gestational age and weight at birth. Fetal growth restriction and compromise may be additional specific risk factors. NEC, particularly severe NEC requiring surgical intervention and NEC with invasive infection, is associated with acute morbidity and mortality and adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes. The principal modifiable postnatal risk factors for NEC in preterm infants relate to enteral feeding practices including formula milk feeding, early and rapid advancement of enteral feed volumes, and exposure to H2-receptor antagonists.
Our understanding of the pathogenesis of this condition remains incomplete. With the exception of feeding with human milk, only limited evidence is currently available to support interventions to prevent NEC. Promising strategies that merit further evaluation in randomized controlled trials include the use of prebiotics and probiotics and the avoidance of exposure to H2-receptor antagonists.

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    ABSTRACT: This case report describes a 5-week-old boy with an unusual presentation of gastric pneumatosis caused by suspected necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) after cardiogenic shock. Postnatally, a pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum was supplied by a modified Blalock-Taussig shunt. On transthoracic echocardiography in week 5, primarily performed to rule out pericardial effusion, air bubbles have been apparent in the right atrium. Intracardiac air found on echocardiogram is generally associated with an indwelling venous catheter but-as exemplified by this case report-may also occur in the setting of NEC. An abdominal radiograph showed an isolated gastric pneumatosis, which is an unusual location of NEC. It is speculated that air moved through the connecting veins to the right atrium, the pneumatosis located in the gastric wall being a prerequisite to this pathophysiology. Conclusion: The suspected NEC was located in the stomach enabling the intramural air to pass through connecting veins to the right atrium. The first specific sign of NEC in our case was air bubbles in the right atrium on echocardiography.
    European Journal of Pediatrics 08/2013; · 1.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) continues to be the most severe gastrointestinal emergency facing the preterm neonate. The pathogenesis of NEC is still a complex and poorly understood process, but with increasing understanding of the role of enteral feeding, gut immunity and the altered gut microbiota, new opportunities to reduce overall NEC rates are now possible. Prevention strategies continue to lead as the most suitable approaches to reducing NEC, as early diagnosis and rapid effective treatment of NEC are still not optimal. Programmatic changes are equally important as subscribing to individual prevention strategies. The primary focus of this review is to summarize the best strategies we currently have to eliminate NEC within an institution.
    Seminars in Fetal and Neonatal Medicine 11/2013; · 3.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Spontaneous intestinal perforation (SIP) is an important surgical emergency in preterm infants. Aims: To evaluate the effect of maternal preeclampsia on development of SIP in premature infants. Study design: Retrospective observational study in a large tertiary neonatal intensive care unit. Subjects: The preterm infants of ≤32 weeks gestational age and birthweight ≤ 1500 g who were hospitalized were enrolled. Outcome measures: The primary outcome was to determine the association between preeclampsia and SIP. Results: A total of 22 infants had SIP diagnosis. The incidence of SIP in infants born to preeclamptic mothers (6.2%) was significantly higher compared with those born to normotensive mothers (0.2%). In multinominal logistic regression model, preeclampsia was found to be an independent risk factor of SIP with an odds ratio of 13.5 (95% confidence interval 2.82-65.1). Conclusions: Maternal preeclampsia seemed to be an independent risk factor for development of SIP in premature infants.
    The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine: the official journal of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, the International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians 10/2013; · 1.36 Impact Factor


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May 24, 2014